Intro: The letter to the Phillipians stands
out in Pauls writings as a letter of gratitude. It seems that the Philippian
believers had, time and again, reached out to Paul financially and spiritually.
This letter is Pauls effort to say "Thank you", to some people
who are very special to him.
In these opening verses, Paul meditates on his relationship with the
Philippian church. As he does, he notes some reasons why their fellowship has been close
and why it has endured through the years. These characteristics seem to be evident in this
congregation also and I felt it would be appropriate, on this our 10th
anniversary, to mention them. Today, I would like to spend some time talking to you about
The Ties That Bind.
This congregation was strong, and their relationship with Paul endured
because they all shared some very important characteristics. Allow me to share with you
what they shared with each other. Characteristics that I believe we also share today.
I. v. 1, 6 THEY SHARED SALVATION
A. Salvation is the common need of all men Rom. 3:23; 6:23. (Ill. Many do not
see the need; Many do nothing about the need; Salvation is available for all who have the
B. Salvation brings eternal life, John 10:28. It does more! It unites people of varied
backgrounds, interests and desires into a unified body of believers. (Ill. Genuine
salvation is the only hope for true peace in the church!) (Ill. There is a vast difference
between those who are saved, and those who are lost!)
C. Salvation is the primary tie that binds in the church of God.
II. v. 1, 5-9 THEY SHARED A SERVANT SPIRIT
A. These believers, along with Paul, were true servants of God, and of one another.
(Ill. Servant = Slave, one devoted to another to the disregard of ones own
interests.) This is the mark of genuine Christianity, a willingness to put others ahead of
self Phil. 2:4; Rom. 12:14; Rom. 14:19-22; Rom. 15:1)(Ill. Salvation is only the
beginning! Ill. Eph. 2:10; James 2:18
B. Their servants spirit manifested itself in three ways.
1. v. 3-4 Mutual Care Those who truly care, care for the needs of
others Gal. 6:2. Ill. This is displaying the true spirit of Christ Isa.
53:4-6. (Ill.This is "Empathy" The ability to experience as
ones own, the feelings ofanother!) True mutual care fostersgenuine love among the
members of the body. People like knowing they are cared for!
2. v. 4 Mutual Prayer There are times, when we cannot help bear a
load physically, but we can be there for our brothers spiritually. While empathy is
literally experiencing the need of another, sympathy is being able toshare their
feelings. This is the force of Rom. 12:14. No where is this actof genuine love better
portrayed than in a consistent prayer life, whichmakes supplication for the needs of
others. Paul reminds the Philippiansthat he was in prayer for them constantly. Believers
ought to pray for oneanother! (Ill. Moses on the mountain and Aaron and Hur Ex. 17)
3. v. 7 Mutual Love Here is the true key to successful fellowship.
Love is he essential ingredient for success in the church. (Ill. We can do a lot ofthings,
but to make a difference, we must have love 1 Cor. 13:1-8.)Genuine Christian love
always manifests itself in action one toward another 1 John 3:18; James. 2:15-16.
Love is a command and not an option Matt. 22:39. Genuine love among brethren is a
mark of true salvation 1John 4:7; 20 No love, no Jesus, but Know Jesus and
know love! Wheretrue love is, other essential elements of fellowship will be found Forgiveness,
peace, joy, kindness, tenderness, meekness, blessing and acceptance. Gilead is marked
4. v.11 Spiritual Activity The Philippians possessed a desire to
work for and bring honor to the Lord. This is a much needed attitude in our day. Thank God
for those who have, and have had, a mind to work Neh. 4:6!
III. v. 10 THEY SHARED SINCERITY
A. Ill. Many congregations in that day were just playing church, (Ill. Corinth), but
not the Philippians! They were sincere about what they were doing. Church wasnt a
social gathering, it was the Lords business and it meant something to them to be
called a Christian. They were held together in a desire to serve the Lord.
B. Ill. Gilead Baptist Church is for real! Many have poured their lives into this
congregation and it shows. (Ill. Average life span of a new work is less than 5 years.
Many said wed never make it, but we are here to stay!)
C. I wonder, are you as sincere about your commitment here as you need to be? (Ill. The
Chicken and the Pig!) Sincerity and a genuine desire to see the Lord's work carried out is
a necessary ingredient for continued success in this church! Wouldnt today be a
great day for every member of Gilead Baptist to get sincere about the work we have to do?
Conc: Paul and Philippi had a wonderfully close relationship
because they shared some wonderful things. Those same characteristics they shared
as just as needed today as they were then. Look at yourself and see where you
stand today. Are you saved? Do you possess that servant spirit? Are you as sincere
about the Lords work here as you could be? Today is a day of thanksgiving,
but it is also a day of new beginnings. I challenge every one of us to strive
together to make this church even greater in the coming days than she has been
in the past, or is right now. Will you come this morning if the Lord has spoken
to your heart? Lets strengthen those ties that bind.
Sermon By Alan Carr
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